by Leon Feinstein, Genomics Forum Bright Ideas Fellow
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I went to the workshop intending to learn how those in biological sciences have been thinking about the challenges of this issue. I motivated the discussion, as they say, with a focus on the technical issue of regression to the mean, which rather dominated proceedings. This has become something of a vexed issue for me, in relation to the graph that some know as “the Feinstein Graph.” I know it as Feinstein, 2003; Fig 2 but I am told I am stuck with the handle.
We didn’t really get into the issue of “hereditarianism” in quite the way I had expected but I arrived with a hope to learn something and was greatly informed by the experience.
I do not attempt a record of the event but I do want to thank participants for attending and their universally helpful contributions.
Please see attached a draft paper in relation to regression to the mean, which I managed to progress due to the discussion at the seminar. I think many participants wanted to have a wider discussion so this may be of minority interest.
As I say in the note, I do not at all accept that I have “misused statistics,” or that the graph "is simply wrong." The first is a glib slur and the second an odd statement because so much of the debate is about what the data mean.
Amongst many insightful points, Wendy Johnson emphasised particularly the importance of recognising that Fig 2, is really just a corollary of Fig 1. I strongly agree with this. I will pick this up in further work.
The fellowship at the Forum was a fantastic opportunity and I am especially grateful to the organisers.